JlLL retail director, Stephen Murray, said the centre, which had low vacancy levels, “concluded an exceptionally strong 2014” with the Butler’s deal for the 1,500 sq ft former Barratts shoe store on the concourse. It is Butler’s 26th outlet.
Also in 2014, international footwear brand, Schuh, took 4,000 sq ft; it was their first major Limerick foot-hold. Irish multiple, Pulse Accessories, has taken a prominent unit of 750 sq ft, while another indigenous retailer, PAIR Mobile, took 400 sq ft in a unit formerly occupied by Vodafone, who’ve moved to a larger unit within the centre.
Footwear and bag retailer, Primadonna, added to their Irish presence by taking a 1,900 sq ft unit.
“The fact that such new brands are attracted to the centre, and others choose to enlarge their presence, highlights increased interest in the desirable prime schemes and a stratification of the market, where the gap between the prime and secondary schemes is widening,” said Mr Murray.
He said there were now “modest increases in rents” due to the scarcity of opportunity, while expanding retailers may only have a budget to open a few stores annually, and need the best return on investment. “Throughout 2014, the major schemes in the country have seen a consistent reduction in vacancy levels,” he said.
Jones Lang LaSalle, 01-6731600